The Power Grab

31 03 2009


Authored by William Robert Barber


I have listened and read. I have watched as President Bush along with his sidekick Paulson urged Congress to hastily harvest billions of taxpayer dollars for a financial crisis they could not specifically define. Paulson and the president did emphasize that the credit market was frozen hence banks were not lending money. Certain congresspersons did appear on television to validate such statements. I noted that the treasury sidekick (prior to receiving the money) unequivocally declared the purpose of the billions (the purchase of toxic assets) – and then I saw the money go somewhere entirely different.


I practiced the same erudition and observation with President Obama and his sidekick Geithner; this time, billions for a stimulus bill with millions of pork barrel spending and the promise of a trillion dollar budget seeking congressional approval. All of this trillion dollar talk scares the living daylights out of me. It is also highly discomforting to note the complicit attitude of Democrats – it feels as if Obama put some kind of magic spell on them wherein they can no longer think for themselves.


I do not understand the economic theory or the concept of spending from borrowed funds with the specific intent of stimulating economic growth thus employing people and then creating an obvious conflict on business growth by raising taxes. The rush to disburse multi-millions on a yet-to-be delivered plan that drastically revamps healthcare, billions on the expenditures of establishing green energy products / services, the untimely and excessive burdening of every citizen with a costly inventive labeled cap & trade, the continuum of whimsically throwing money at education, and the preferential treatment of unions over non-unionized worker-companies; all of these costly projects are simply defined as necessary, naturally coupled with the standard administrative persuasion of haste and immediacy.


When queried as to details or counter arguments, the administration retorts aggressively with inheriting the Bush economic debacle followed by claiming the financial crisis being the greatest since FDR. This response of course does not address the original question. In fact, to my knowledge the question has never been directly addressed; instead, they and those will only answer by declaring the need for speedy congressional affirmation of their proposal, the constant reinforcement that billions to trillions are required, and that more government control of private as well as public entities is the sure footed measure of the future.


If the measure of what is needed calls for studious forethought, the sensibility of meritorious debate, the utility of thoughtful rational and contemplative reflection, then the Democrats are against even the consideration of such logical behavior. In this case the Democrats act as born-again contrarians, cavaliers of what otherwise would require prudent due diligence. They have debased their responsibilities to the nation and have become political ideologues of the faithful, all paying homage to the “way-of-Obama” as they vote on budget and tax bills of gigantic lawful consequence. These Obama disciples voted on hugely significant bills without even the pretence of reading them. I believe these toxic assets have been devalued by panic-ridden appraisers and regulators below market value. The third party appraisers recoiling from rendering AAA ratings on derivatives they did not understand and the wrath of a congress seeking to put the blame somewhere other than their Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac chest imposed on these firms by intimidation and coercive extortion the charge of being in league with their Wall Street clients. The regulators being the civil servants that they are simply lifted their index finger into the political wind and followed in complement. Of course mark-to-market accounting did more than its fair share in devaluing assets wherein the underlying worth was real estate.


As I have said over and over again, politicians are only interested in the retention or attainment of power. We have now established a political class of elected persons; some of them having been in office for thirty, forty, even fifty years. This kind of tenure, hold on power, is not in the best interest of the nation. But the people are weak and the politicians strong; regretfully, this forever hold on elected office is the very ethos of political corruption. 


This crisis is one of mythical ambiguity; it is an enigma, a conundrum of mystifying proportions wherein no one has sat down with a chalkboard to clarify the need, the reason for the need, and the solutions coupled with the consequences. And yet congress follows the bouncing ball as though hypnotized by the sheer enormity of the heretofore indefinable.







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